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I bought the AG, open burner, Wolf--report after 2 weeks

Posted by needinfo1 (My Page) on
Mon, Feb 11, 13 at 8:48

I’ve had a Wolf R304 for almost two weeks now and have been putting it through its paces. I just thought I’d comment on it in case there are still any other people out there thinking about buying one of these models before they are all gone. We needed to replace a nearly twenty- year-old, dual fuel, downdraft, Jenn Air. After getting lots of help from people here, we decided that we wanted to get open burners, so that left us with the usual choices of models people debate all of the time. We looked at them all--Capital, American Range, Bluestar, Viking and Wolf--and finally decided that we would buy the American Range Performer because, to us, it offers the best combination of performance and value. Then, just as we were about to buy, we discovered during our final measurement check that it is deeper than some of the other brands, and with our L-shaped configuration we wouldn’t be able to open an adjacent drawer if we installed this.

So, back to square one. Three weeks ago our local dealers were still quoting the full 4K price on the 30”, and I bumped into the local Wolf rep who told me there were some of these still available in the area and that this model was being discontinued only because the manufacturer wanted to achieve new efficiencies in the factory with standardization of all burners. A couple days later I went back for yet another look at ranges at our largest local appliance chain and discovered that this chain was now discounting these AG, open burner, floor models 20%. We bought one, and my husband installed it himself--a pretty big pain because of all of the retrofitting we had to do to accommodate it.

After two weeks I can say we like it quite a bit. I like the four burners of all the same size, and they seem to provide plenty of oomph for our needs. It is much more powerful than what we had before, and, for us, I really can’t imagine when I’d need a more powerful burner. The burners have a nice heat distribution all over the pot for the entire spectrum from high to low heat. They also do a very nice low simmer with no hot spots (yes, I watched the Eurostoves video comparing this model to the Bluestar); I made gravy and was able to hold it easily. We’ve baked a cake, banana bread, casseroles type things and roasted a turkey. The oven cooks evenly, and we had one of the most moist turkeys we have even cooked (and following the Wolf manual’s instructions we found it cooked quite rapidly).

Before buying I was worried about clean up of both the interior and the exterior. So far, the top has been a breeze to wipe up and keep clean. My husband (for the first time ever in our long marriage) cleaned out the interior to get off all of the turkey spatters, and he said it wasn’t bad at all to partially disassemble the racks and wipe it out.
Coming from an old dual fuel though there have been a couple surprises and contrasts. Our kitchen definitely warms up quite a bit more when cooking on this (we don’t have a vent installed yet, but we rarely used the downdraft vent on the JennAir, so I don’t think this accounts for the difference). I assume this is due to the increased BTUs compared to what we had before. In the dead of winter this is a nice feature, but I know when it is really hot it will not be so nice. When we run the oven, the door is warm in a few places, particularly behind the handle. The only reason I know this is because I was purposely running my hand all over the door trying to see if it would get hot as I’ve heard the Bluestar does.

All in all, we are pleased with the purchase. Obviously, getting the discount helped, but it was not the driving factor in our decision to buy this rather than a model from a different manufacturer.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: I bought the AG, open burner, Wolf--report after 2 weeks

Jealous!! Out of curiosity, what kind of retrofitting did you have to do to install it? I wanted this range, but it was a bit too wide for my opening.


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RE: I bought the AG, open burner, Wolf--report after 2 weeks

We had to change our 1/2" gas line to 3/4". The 220 outlet from our old dual fual had to be changed because this needs 110. After we actually got the range, he discovered that the new outlet postion was blocked by a metal bar across the bottom of the range, and so this outlet had to be moved. Then, of course, we had a hole in the floor from where the downdraft was; this needed to be patched.

And, the biggest mess of all was my husband's misreading of some online instructions that led to him doing way more than was necessary to the floor (and now my floor looks awful under the range and I have to figure out how to get him to change it yet again). My husband had been anticipating this installation by reading online about installing Wolf ranges. Apparently he mistakenly got caught up in following all of the insturctions for installing a Wolf commercial range in a residential setting. For that type of installation you need a non-combustible surface under the range. So, he went and got some plywood and screwed that down to our floor and then took some leftover tiles we had from a long-ago basement project and then glued those down to the plywood. This is the non-combustible surface.

After he got the range all hooked up (took a long time), and we shoved it in, we discovered that the awful tiles show under the front of the range. It looks terrible! We had a "discussion" about taking all of this out. He said he wasn't going to pull that 350 pund baby out again to fix this. I said the ugly tiles aren't staying as a contrast to our nice hardwood floors, and if need be I'd remove the stuff myself if he'd just help me to pull the range out. So, we are at a standstill, but I intend to win this one. So, a big warning to other potential do-it-yourself installers: don't get so caught up in following the instructions that you don't stop to think whether these are what are appropriate for your situation.


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RE: I bought the AG, open burner, Wolf--report after 2 weeks

Needinfo, thanks for the review. In terms of mods, I have looked at a number of installation instructions, and it seems like there is no standard place to locate the gas lines or electric outlets - some manufacturers want them close to the floor, others want them raised a certain distance, and others want them in very specific locations. As to moving it back out, I suggest you get those vinyl sliders they sell at hardware stores, put one under each foot, and it should slide pretty easy. Finally, good luck on the fight with your husband. I think you will still need the plywood to cover the hole in the floor that the Jenn Air had for the downdraft vent, but the tough part may be in getting the subfloor to just the right height so the replacement hardwood is level with the existing hardwood floors.


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RE: I bought the AG, open burner, Wolf--report after 2 weeks

Thanks for the sliders suggestion. When the time is right, I will bring that idea up. I am thinking, but since I didn't do the work don't know for sure that the hole in the floor for the Jennair was in the middle, so maybe a patch could just cover that hole with there being no need to worry about the levels of the legs since these would be on the original floor from before the plywwod was installed.


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RE: I bought the AG, open burner, Wolf--report after 2 weeks

I'm glad you are happy with your new wolf I'm waiting for delivery still.


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RE: I bought the AG, open burner, Wolf--report after 2 weeks

Good to hear the report.

In the hardware store, the "sliders" are usually called "glides." They can be had in a felted wool and in vinyl. The felted wool is supposed to be best for hardwood floors but I've found the vinyl ones are fine for hard surfaces. Vinyl would be best to use on the plywood patch, too. They should make it easier to move the stove around, even on the (hopefully) soon-to-be-replaced plywood.

On the kitchen being hotter with the AG stove than with the predecessor DF, the increased stove-top BTU only accounts for some of that. Although the Wolf stove's burners are capable of greater output than the old Jenn Air's burners (probably a lot more out), a bigger thing (it seems to me) is that the the Wolf's burners are likely to be physically larger. You get greater flame spread and that can make for more noticeable waste heat. I really noticed that in moving from my old GE Profile DualFuel to my current pro-style stove. I've found that using wider pans helps mitigate it a bit

The oven is likely the biggest contributor simply because gas ovens must vent out the combustion byproducts (which is mostly water vapor).

Getting the range hood installed will definitely help.


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RE: I bought the AG, open burner, Wolf--report after 2 weeks

I will definitely be making a trip to the hardware store to look for these glides. I think the subject of moving this around will be easier to broach when I actually have these in hand.

I don't really find that there is much flame waste because my pans are too small. I just think it is the extra BTUs. And, I wonder if a part of it is the large size of the cast iron grates with their heat retention. We had also been contemplating a Bluestar, and before I bought I wondered if all of that cast iron in the drip bowls etc. would really heat things up even more since cast iton retains heat for a long time.

jolb--I hope yours goes well too.

jellytoast--In my listing of installation hassles I forgot to mention that this range was just a teensy bit too wide for our opening too, and we had the tile nippers out trying to make the opening just a little bit bigger. We were able to do this becasue we are getting new counters. In fact, the desire for new countersis what initially drove the entire decision to first get a new range.


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RE: I bought the AG, open burner, Wolf--report after 2 weeks

I forgot about the big grates. Yes, they can hold and radiate some heat. I find that is more noticeable when I've removed a pan, though. When you've got the burners cranked up, however, those grates can radiate some heat.

The higher btu-hr capacity in the burners won't be making any difference except when you crank them up. You certainly can do a lot more of that with your Wolf than with the old DF, can't you?


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RE: I bought the AG, open burner, Wolf--report after 2 weeks

Needinfo1, please let me know if you followed the installation specs to the letter (re: the gas and electrical locations) in putting in your range. Looking at the actual back of the range, it appears there are other options, and I am hoping that is true because the written specs don't look too promising for my set up.


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RE: I bought the AG, open burner, Wolf--report after 2 weeks

I think the major problem we had was with the metal "bar" across the lower back of the range. It blocked where the outlet was and the outlet had to be moved again.

Getting the range slid in was also a bit of a challenge with my husband having to crawl over the countertops to fit himself back in behind the range to get the gas line hose to fit into the recessed space behind the range and then crawling out over the counters again hoping the line would stay in the proper place.

I do have to say that this installation process took longer than we anticipated.


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RE: I bought the AG, open burner, Wolf--report after 2 weeks

Thanks, needinfo1. Would you mind taking a look at my last post on my "narrowing my gas range choice ... Dacor?" thread? I can't figure out how to run the gas line ... my post on that thread will explain my problem, and I'm sure you must have run into the same issue.


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RE: I bought the AG, open burner, Wolf--report after 2 weeks

jellytoast--I'll post this here and there. Notes are from my husband.

We installed the gas through the floor with the shut off valve lever on a horizontal plane. The issue is the rear channel brace used for the anti tip mechanism. You can gain a little more clearance by raising the legs and casters. That gives a maximum of maybe an inch more height. If that is not sufficient or if it causes issues due to the counter height I don’t see any reason why you could not have the gas service fitting in the area above the rear channel brace and anti tip bracket. You can see the position of the gas
fitting in the photo below. I needed to use a 5 foot connector hose to give me enough play so I could climb in behind the range while it was being positioned and manipulate the connector to fit under the range.

The riser fits flush with the side of the stove and is 29 7/8 wide. There is no overhang so it should not affect the fit.

I have the photos in a PDF; if you can get me an e-mail I can get that to you if you'd like. I can't figure out how to attach or copy a PDF to this.


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RE: I bought the AG, open burner, Wolf--report after 2 weeks

jellytoast--I'll post this here and there. Notes are from my husband.

We installed the gas through the floor with the shut off valve lever on a horizontal plane. The issue is the rear channel brace used for the anti tip mechanism. You can gain a little more clearance by raising the legs and casters. That gives a maximum of maybe an inch more height. If that is not sufficient or if it causes issues due to the counter height I don’t see any reason why you could not have the gas service fitting in the area above the rear channel brace and anti tip bracket. You can see the position of the gas
fitting in the photo below. I needed to use a 5 foot connector hose to give me enough play so I could climb in behind the range while it was being positioned and manipulate the connector to fit under the range.

The riser fits flush with the side of the stove and is 29 7/8 wide. There is no overhang so it should not affect the fit.

I have the photos in a PDF; if you can get me an e-mail I can get that to you if you'd like. I can't figure out how to attach or copy a PDF to this.


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RE: I bought the AG, open burner, Wolf--report after 2 weeks

I sent you an email through GW, needinfo1.


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